We all make assumptions about “digital natives,” but did Mark Pincus coin the phrase correctly? Yes, they can text, and they can use Facebook. But is their Internet and technology usage really as sophisticated as the phrase suggests? Not really. A team at Northwestern is realizing and confirming…..”The findings paint a picture not of an army of app-building, HTML-typing twenty-somethings, but of a stratified landscape in which some, mostly privileged, young people use their skills constructively, while others lack even basic Internet knowledge.”
Minerva seemed like it would never happen when it was first announced. Although it was well funded, it seemed too ideal. They planned tuition of $10000 and students who would live in a different city each semester, delving into experience immediately and taking the actual classes online. It seemed a huge task. Then they starting announcing people who would be involved – the deans, the board of advisors – all highly respected in their fields. They recently announced their first class, which will start in the fall with 14 students (45 were accepted) and who won’t be charged tuition. This is a fascinating article with the founder, Ben Nelson. “No, these days universities also confront a much more direct challenge, from venture-backed companies using technology to reinvent the full undergraduate experience—from the structure of classwork to the composition of the faculty, the look and feel of the campus, the standards for evaluating students, and the way the whole package is priced in the market.” From Xconomy.
Virtual teams have many advantages – and one of them is that face to face meetings, which have the potential to disrupt people’s schedules, only happen when necessary. This article in Getting Smart proposes two ways to balance meetings and productivity. “We propose two ways to move away from face-to-face meetings: one is a rather idealistic rethinking of meetings and the other is a disruption of existing meeting patterns.”
Augmented reality has been with us for years. There have been apps, games, and university research programs but it hasn’t been a mainstream reality until recently. Anyone who tries it can understand its applications in education. Google Glass is the most immersive way to experience it right now, but it seems like we might finally be getting closer to mainstream utilization. “Every year seems to bring us new technologies that once fit more neatly into science fiction stories than reality. Augmented reality sounds pretty futuristic, but with the help of mobile technology, it’s made its way into everyday life for some of the population.” From Getting Smart.
Infants and young children have a lack of experience that can make them more flexible when face with the unexpected, a research study from Berkeley found. “Are adults superior problem solvers to children? Most people would say yes. From buttoning a jacket to operating a projector to multiplying complex numbers, our abilities exceed those of children.”
The discussion was between Mark Zuckerberg, focused on coding and scalability, and Michael Bloomberg countering with suggestions for retraining for more practical skills. Since Bloomberg was speaking at an energy conference, he says “you’re not going to teach a coal miner to code.” The author of the article, Tony DiBenedetto, has an opinion that falls in between, as do I. Yes, people can learn new things. It doesn’t matter what they did before, though having something knew that is somehow tethered to previous knowledge helps. But connections can be made, and people can learn entirely new skills. Everyone is different, not defined by their job. People need to learn how to learn, and make the connections that work for them.
Great article about personalized learning for the workforce. “How do we provide a safety net to help American workers transition from the old economy driven by physical labor to the new economy driven by intellectual property? And how do we help our troops coming home do the same?”
Helping students be successful online is much different than it is in traditional environments. Often assumptions are made about technical aptitude of learners who take classes online, but in many cases the technology is a barrier. Academic and study skills differ as well. Debbie Morrison’s article defines ways to support learners online. “Three Categories of Resources: The resources featured here address skill gaps in three areas: 1) technical, 2) academic and 3) study skills. The academic section includes resources for subject areas of writing composition, grammar and math. The technical section links to sites that provide instruction for learners in basic web skills including e-mail and file uploads, how-to navigate and search on the web, and it also features a list of resources for student support specific to learning management (LMS) platforms. The section on study skills provides a list of resources geared to learners studying online; skill development for time management, study planning and prioritizing.”